Sons and daughters of the stallion Lonhro have been popping up (and winning) juvenile races all over North America and Europe. But just who is this Lonhro character?
Nicknamed 'The Black Flash', Lonhro was a star on the Australian turf so Northern Hemisphere bettors and racing fans can be forgiven for being in the dark about this son of Octagonal. He was a Group 3 winner at two, a champion at three and Horse of the Year at five. His credentials earned him a plaque in the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2014.
He's carried that success over to the breeding shed, earning a sire championship Down Under as well. The now 17-year-old was imported to Darley America for the 2012 and 2013 Northern Hemisphere breeding seasons and we're now seeing the resulting juveniles from that first term.
Lonhro's initial Northern Hemisphere-bred winner appeared back on March 28 when Rah Rah notched a debut victory in a 5F Maiden race Kempton's all-weather course in the UK. After three more European winners, Holding Gold became the first Lonhro juvenile winner in North America when he emerged from the Mark Casse barn to capture his July 19 debut at Woodbine. So far a total of 11 Lonhro two-year-olds have found the winner's enclosure north of the equator.
Australian racing is conducted exclusively on turf so it's no surprise that only one of these first 11 Lonhro winners has scored on dirt (that being Ponytail, winner of her second start at Parx for trainer Michael Matz).
Lonhro does have some American influences in his pedigree - his dam is granddaughter of Mr. Prospector - but bettors shouldn't expect many main track winners from this sire. Lonhro was more adept at middle distances too, so the turf marathons his progeny will face later on could prove to be beyond their scope. For the time being though, the Lonhro's should be respected early in their careers whenever they break from the gate on grass and all-weather surfaces.
A full breakdown of Lonhro's first 11 winners:
|Date||Horse||#Start/Race Class Won||Margin||Trainer||Odds||Track||Distance/Footing||Track Condition|
|9/20||Koala Queen||Debut/Maiden Special||Head||A. Delacour||4.50||Laurel||5.5F/Tur||Firm|
|9/19||Shakhimat||Debut/Maiden Special||2 1/4 L||R. Attfield||4.20||Woodbine||7F/AW||Fast|
|8/30||Ponytail||2nd/Maiden Special||5 1/2 L||M. Matz||3.20||Parx||5.5F/Dirt||Fast|
|8/22||Isotherm||2nd/Maiden Special||Neck||G. Weaver||4.00||Saratoga||8.5F/Turf||Firm|
|8/8||Apple Down Under||Debut/Maiden Special||3/4 L||M. Hubley||3.80*||Ellis Park||5.5F/Turf||Firm|
|7/24||Blackflashgoddess||3rd/Maiden Special||2 1/4 L||W. Bradley||1.90||Ellis Park||5.5F/Turf||Firm|
|7/19||Holding Gold||Debut/Maiden Special||2 1/4 L||M. Casse||4.25||Woodbine||5F/AW||Fast|
|6/27||Plagiarism||Debut/Maiden in England||1/2 L||M. Johnston||5.00||Newcastle||5F/Turf||Good|
|6/12||Aquamerica||Debut/Maiden in France||3 1/2 L||C. Ferland||4.80||Toulouse||7F/Turf||Soft|
|6/3||Lockram||2nd/Maiden in England||2 3/4 Lnew||M. Johnston||2.00*||Wolverhampton||6F/AW||Fast|
|3/28||Rah Rah (GB)||Debut/ Maiden in England||3 3/4 L||M. Johnston||4.00||Kempton||5F/AW||Fast|